A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us this Wednesday, November 1st, at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: “From Farm Fields to the Courthouse: Legal Issues Surrounding Pesticide Use.” Details available here.

JUDICIAL: Includes pesticide and landowner liability issues.

In DEMEESTER’S FLOWER SHOP AND GREENHOUSE, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FLORISTS’ MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., and JOHN CALLAWAY, Defendants-Appellees, No. 2-16-1001, 2017 IL App (2d) 161001 (Ill. Ct. App. October 26, 2017), plaintiff ran a lawn care service and its employee sprayed glyphosate on a number of customers’ lawns causing severe damage. Plaintiff sought to recover form defendant on its insurance policy, but defendant argued plaintiff’s claim was barred under property-damage exclusions in the policy. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the property-damage exclusions conflicted with the Pesticide Act, claiming the Act “reflects Illinois public policy mandating coverage for parties that are required to purchase coverage, namely itself.” Court concluded that “[t]he plain language of the Pesticide Act reveals that it is intended to protect persons who suffer personal injury or property damage as the result of pesticide application. The plaintiff here did not suffer any personal injury or property damage.” Ruling for defendant affirmed.

In SARAH DEL SERONDE, et al., Plaintiffs/Appellants, v. BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY, et al., Defendants/Appellees, No. 1 CA-CV 16-0385, 2017 WL 4819365 (Ariz. Ct. App. October 16, 2017), car passengers were struck by a train at a crossing and surviving family sued train company for negligence. Defendant argued that because plaintiffs were trespassers, “its only duty was to avoid willfully and wantonly injuring them and it had satisfied that duty.” Plaintiffs argued there were “either licensees or invitees to whom BNSF owed a duty of reasonable care.” Lower court granted BNSF summary judgment and on appeal, plaintiff argued “a material question of fact exists regarding the duty BNSF owed to [plaintiffs].” Court found no evidence the crossing signage “invited the public” to use it and found no evidence defendant breached the “applicable standard of care.” Ruling for defendant affirmed.


S. 1998: A bill to amend the Agricultural Act of 2014 to reduce county yield disparities for agriculture risk coverage. Bill’s text is now available.

S. 2000: A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to improve transparency under the national primary drinking water regulations for lead and copper. Bill’s text is now available.

S. 1996: A bill to require Federal agencies to address environmental justice, to require consideration of cumulative impacts in certain permitting decisions. Bill’s text is now available.

S. 2015: A bill to clarify the status of the North Country, Ice Age, and New England National Scenic Trails as units of the National Park System. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R. 4126: To provide for the accurate reporting of fossil fuel production and emissions from public lands. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 2936: Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. Bill has been added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

H.R. 3567: To authorize the purchase of a small parcel of Natural Resources Conservation Service property in Riverside, California, by the Riverside Corona Resource Conservation District. Bill’s text for status Reported by House Committee (Oct 26, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 1488: Indiana Dunes National Park Act. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week,

H.R. 2521: South Carolina Peanut Parity Act of 2017. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

H.R. 2600: To provide for the conveyance to the State of Iowa of the reversionary interest held by the United States in certain land in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

H.R. 2921: National Forest System Vegetation Management Pilot Program Act of 2017. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

H.R. 2941: Kisatchie National Forest Land Conveyance Act. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

H.R. 3279: Helium Extraction Act of 2017. Bill added to the House’s schedule for the coming week.

REGULATORY: Includes APHIS, EPA, FWS, FDA, and NOAA rules and notices.


Notice APHIS will request revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the category of plants for planting that are not authorized for importation pending pest risk analysis. Info here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of fresh tomatoes from France, Morocco, Western Sahara, Chile, and Spain. Details here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Rule amending an existing tolerance for residues of the ovicide/miticide hexythiazox in/on hop, dried cones, by increasing the current tolerance from 2.0 parts per million (ppm) to 20 ppm. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: Notice FWS seeks comment on applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Notice FDA seeks information to assist in identifying standard development organizations (SDOs) that meet the requirements in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). Details here.


Rule NMFS proposes to implement management measures described in an abbreviated framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council. Details here.

Rule NMFS proposes this interim measure to change the management of the Pacific whiting at-sea sectors’ allocations for darkblotched rockfish and Pacific ocean perch (POP) by managing the allocations as set-asides rather than as total catch limits. Details here.

Rule NMFS proposes annual catch limits (ACLs) for Pacific Island crustacean, precious coral, and territorial bottomfish fisheries, and accountability measures (AMs) to correct or mitigate any overages of catch limits. Info here.

Rule would implement interim measures to reduce overfishing of golden tilefish in Federal waters of the South Atlantic. Details here.